Monday, December 11, 2006

Stitch Marker success!

It seems that most of my knitting friends were gifted with the ability to also make stitch markers. They occassionally bring them to get togethers and hand them out like candy. Each time I get one I am amazed at how different they all are and I figured out why I like them so much - they are jewelry for our knitting! How cool is that? So I finally got one of them to give a quick lesson and I loved it. SO fun. Just what I needed- another addiction. Little sheep, skull, itty bitty sock marker.

The Purple Purse eater

I was reading Amy Singer's blog on & she was commenting on how she always felt like a Pollyanna & that she always has a positive spin on her entries. Hmmm, I agree although to be honest, I want to hear the screw ups so that a) I don't make the same mistakes b) I don't feel like such a loser since many times my projects don't come out right c) well, it just makes for a better blog story than "Look how pretty my project came out". I mean, right? If so, this is such a story.

In previous posts I have shown you pictures of my pretty Noni Carpet Bag. I did the Rather Huge version so it's a ton of yarn (10 skeins with flowers). I finished it in early September but I have just procrastinated felting it. All my knitting friends were giving me such a hard time that I hadn't felted it & just kept asking "why, what do you think is going to happen????". Hmmm, I don't know - really I don't & I'm scared & I don't wanna. So under extreme peer pressure I felted it. The flowers were first & they felted well, were pretty after someone else figured out how the "innards" were supposed to be arranged. Quite frankly, the way I had them looked like a penis & the last thing I wanted was a penis purse. Then came the actual bag & handles felting. And it faded. Like really bad. The brown completely ran on the pink part & turned my favorite color combination into a lavendar/ chocolate brown disaster. See for yourself

So what is that answer? I'm going to take it to my LYS & see if I can find a color to make more flowers to put on it. Then I'll find appropriate lining & put it together & use it as a knitting bag for a while. I may end up gifting it because I honestly don't know if I can look at it without feeling ill. I'll let you know.

Since several people have asked, I'll add that I used Cascade 220 wool - Pink was color 9477 && the Brown was 8686.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

November wrap up

Well, I've done a great job of avoiding my blog - though I have been knitting. Right now I'm on Christmas presents so I can't post in progress pictures, but here are some things I've finished lately.

Fetching fingerless mitts for me - knit from Trendsetter Kashmir. This yarn was such a freaking dream to work with. If I hit the lottery, I'm making a sweater out of it!

Scarf knit from James T. Brett marble yarn in a basket weave pattern

This is a straight garter stitch scarf that I started in the summer for my niece for Christmas. I bought the yarn on clearance at Walmart & it is just adorable.

2x2 ribbed scarf knit from a yarn I got at a friend's moving sale. I'll post the yarn name if I find a label. I knit it with the intent to wear it in New York over Thanksgiving but I promptly finished it in the airport on the way home. My timeline was rather optimistic.

Happy Holidays!

Friday, October 27, 2006

New Projects

Man I've been doing some knitting though you wouldn't know it to look at my blog. So much for my once a week update. Here are some things I've been up to:

This is a hat for MOI in the new Patons SWS yarn in the Natural Pink colorway. We did a secret pal swap this month on our DFW Chicks with Sticks yahoo group & this was one of the yummy things in my bag. I just love the color and it was awesome to knit with.

Ok, this is also for me. I have been wanting a pink alpaca scarf & here it is - Cameo Faggot scarf pattern using Plymouth Chunky Alpaca yarn. I love knitting with this stuff. Muchly.

This is a gift for Patrick's dad using the same Plymouth Chunky Alpaca in ivory - obviously - knit in a basket weave pattern.

Fetching fingerless mitts knit with Debbie Bliss merino dk yarn that I found on sale - this was my first attempt at this pattern but be on the lookout for more, these are a gift but I'm in the middle of mitt #1 of my second pair.

This is an accidental knit if there is any such animal. I was walking with my Ipod the other day & it was really getting on my nerves - the whole having to hold it while I walk thing. I started dreaming up a really easy sock type thing that I could hang around my neck like the Ipod Shuffle. Here ya go! Knit with Caron Simply Soft in PANK obviously - really easy. This was my first attempt at knitting icord & I really enjoyed it. I am easily fascinated I suppose.

That's it for now folks! I have several projects OTN but I'm not naming them because several of them have "frog" written all over them.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Crock Pot Yarn Dyeing

I posted this yarn on some websites I frequent & have gotten several request for the instructions, so I figured I'd put it out there. The internet is such a strange & wonderful world - I have been told that crock pot instructions using this dye method are not easy to find. I am on the quest to elevate my blog to the top of google searches - try googling "Erdal Lazer" yarn - I am second only to ebay if any is listed at that time, which proves the inadequacy of the company's marketing skills - I personally think I should get free yarn for that, but I digress.

First of all, I can not claim credit for these directions. I will give them too you just as my knitting friend Ronda in Fort Worth gave them to me. I met her for the first time on the same day I saw this beautiful yarn that she had dyed & I thought she was entirely clever. Here we are months & months later & I still think so.

For my crockpot dyeing mission I used Wilton's Icing Dye. I think I got mine at Hobby Lobby for a few dollars, but I've also seen it at Michael's & similar stores. It apparently comes in varies consistencies but I used the paste. The yarn in the picture shown above was made with black dye. Just black - can you believe it? Apparently they get the dark colors by blending other colors so they split when you cook them & this is what you get. I also tried using the burgundy color but I just got pink yarn, so if you use something dark like purple or dark green or something similar, and it splits to give you varigated yarn, PLEASE let me know - I don't dye yarn to get one color - to me it just isn't as interesting.

This particular yarn is Paton's Merino Wool in an ecru color - any animal fiber should work. I started by taking it out of the skein & wrapping it in a hank, then tie it LOOSELY with a scrap piece of yarn (if you use acryllic you will see just how true it is that acryllic won't absorb dye -very). When I say tie loosely I mean it - you can see in the picture that some of the areas I tied didn't take as much, in some cases any, dye. I have a bigger crockpot - it's 4 quarts as far as I can tell - and that is what I used. Sidenote: If you don't have one, they are often at garage sales for a few dollars. I put the yarn in my crockpot & added enough water to cover the yarn. Then I put in a quick pour of white vinegar - that sets the color in the yarn & also makes it smell like.....vinegar. I let the yarn sit in the vinegar water with the crockpot off for about an hour. I took a butter knife & dipped the tip of it into the dye paste & pulled it out - there was maybe a 1/2 teaspoon of dye on there? That is PLENTY enough. Take the butter knife with the dye on it & stab the yarn in 3 or 4 or 5 spots until the knife is empty. Let the yarn cook on high for several hours - I check it every hour or so but you'll know when the yarn has taken all of the dye because the water will be clear - or very nearly clear.

To be honest I'm not sure if some of my method is overkill & what I made up myself - like letting the yarn sit that long, but I do know that it needs to be saturated. So take these non-professional directions with that in mind. Some people want exact times & measurements & I understand that - I'm usually that person. What I've had to convince myself of is that this is ART & you can use these guidelines or experiment - the products are generally pretty inexpensive & dyeing is so fun.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Stupidest Knitter Alive

I may not be, but I really feel like it. And not just because I used the word "stupidest" even though I know it's not grammatically correct. I feel like such an idiot & I imagine looking at that picture, you can imagine why.

I am currently knitting up the Noni Rather Huge Carpet Bag. I couldn't believe how quickly it was knitting up & that I was nearly done, so this morning I started knitting bright & early so that I could finish it up & bind off. So I did.

When I was a credit analyst for the bank, they used to make us do an exercise called "Spilled Milk". We were periodically assigned loans that had defaulted & that the bank had lost money on and made us re-analyze it & write up how we could have predicted this loss when it was originally underwritten. I couldn't help but think this is a spilled milk project if I've ever seen one! Let's recap:
A) The pattern called for 4 skeins of each color of yarn - you hold 2 of each color together. Last night I was telling Patrick that I wasn't even through 2 skeins of each color & that I must be knitting extra tight or something. I was already contemplating what I'd do with that left over pink & brown yarn. I could make another bag as a gift!
B) It wasn't rather huge. It was rather short. I mean really short. Can anyone say "half as short as it should be"?
C) The fact that I kept saying "gee this is knitting up so quickly"!
D) Never underestimate the gut feeling that something is wrong. My gut is pretty wise. (also true in the credit world, btw).

You see, I should be knitting 10 rows of EACH COLOR. I knit 10 rows total. I even re-read the pattern several times and counted at least 5 times to make sure I was right. I just think somewhere the damn pattern should say "you should have 20 rows total" considering they gave every other direction in every possible way as if they were talking to The Stupidest Knitter Alive. Sigh. I'll take responsibility for my screw up. I am just heartbroken because now I've cut my yarn on the first skeins on top of the fact that I already did the bind off. Going to unbind off. What do you even call that? Double sigh.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I've been knitting....really I have....

I realize I haven't blogged in forever, but I promise I've been knitting. Mostly I've been knitting things to distract me from the fact that I haven't finished my sweater. I went to Benno's Buttons here in Dallas last weekend and picked out the buttons for it, which was the last step for me. That place has every type of button you could ever imagine in your life. I had no clue as to what I was looking for but I figured I'd know it when I saw it. If you had told me this is what I would end up with I wouldn't have believed you, but they just felt right, so here they are. I think they have a vintage look that I love and I just stopped looking after I saw them.

I came home that night & fully expected to finish the thing. As it turns out, Maggie Rhgetti is absolute in her book Knitting in Plain English - Buttonholes are Bastards. Can't get any more plain than that, can ya? So I set it aside until I get some help from one of my knitter friends that knows what the heck they are doing.
These are my scarves that I am donating to the Think Pink Challege The top one is a drop stitch scarf that I knit with Plymouth Encore & the second one is Caron Bliss in Cotton Candy. This stuff is so unbelievable soft that I swear I'm going to knit myself a sweater out of it. It's to die for.

I made 2 of these Texas blcoks - I am in a group of Texas knitters & we will get requests for blocks for baby blankets for members. So I made these out of the same skein of Cottontots - such a great yarn to work with. I will definitely be working with it for future baby projects.

This is as far as I've gotten on Clapotis #2. I have no idea what the yarn is - I got it from a fellow knitter's stash. It's knitting up strange on this project & I'm not sure how I feel about it so I put it down for now. I also made a mistake a few rows back & it created enough of a hole that it's noticeable so I think I'm going to have to go back. For now I'm pretending like it doesn't exist.

Other things I've bought since I blogged last....
* My Noni Carpet Bag pattern along with the Camellia and Unfurling Rose accent flowers. I am making the large size in brown & pink as soon as I can get more of the pink that I want to use - my local store is out of it & I need at least 3 more skeins.
* Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti
* and because what I've read of that one is so brilliant, I ordered Sweater Design in Plain English too.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I must be a quitter....

I have two schools of thought on working on only one project. School of thought #1: work on the damn sweater until it's finished. It will be over soon & then you will be able to rejoice in a huge accomplishment that is a complete sweater. School of thought #2: go ahead & work on another project in between the end of this sweater so I can stop hating it. Last night I was bouncing these 2 choices in my head while gritting my teeth & knitting sleeves. I looked over at Patrick and said "I wonder if I should finish this sweater first or just start on something else". Before I could get the thought completely out of my mouth he says "Finish the sweater. Otherwise you are just a quitter." I stared at him with my jawdropped expression & he looked at me blankly - like he didn't just figuratively slap me in the face. I couldn't believe he said that. I really freaking hate it when he's right.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Bleech. I'm Sick of this Sweater!

I swore I wasn't going to bore my blog readers with constant updated pictures of this sweater over the weeks {months...years....} that it takes me to finish it. I have come to realize though that because I haven't really talked about it that people must think I'm not so much a real knitter as I am a yarn buyer. I promise, I have been knitting on this beauty since July 17th. I started keeping track because I have a knitter friend by the name of Betty that, thanks to a program in her handy dandy palm pilot type thingy can tell you how long it took her to knit something - well, in addition to what yarn she used, the cost of said yarn, the date she purchased it, what book the pattern came from...and probably how many stitches she knitting to make the damn thing! But I digress....

This is the Sonnet sweater from The sweater really has been easy to knit - the body is knit in one piece & then you do the sleeves and attach them at the end. It's primarily garter stitch with small sections of box stitch thrown in for slight contrast. As you can see I'm about half way through which each sleeve. On the advice of some fellow knitters I decided to knit both sleeves at the same time but I was about half way through sleeve #1. So I started sleeve #2, am going to knit it to the same point, then knit them at the same time. I'm almost there - 14 rows to go to be exact - before I start this method. It's actually genius, I feel silly not having thought of it on my own. That's why we hang out with other knitters!

Now I'm beginning to think that I'm going to hate it by the time I am done knitting it. I wonder if I'll ever enjoy the wearing of it? I'll tell you one thing for sure - I'm going to figure out the answer to that question before starting sweater #2. I had myself pegged as a sweater knitter. I came to that conclusion because I really really do like knitting things for myself & I'm not as much of a scarf person as I imagined. I have tried to knit skinny scarves to wear with tshirts & the like, but it just never seems to work out - they keep me too warm, which is of course their function. So I turned to sweaters because they too will keep you warm, but I do wear sweaters so I may as well just make my own. I have bought enough yarn over the past month or so to make four more sweaters, so either I am going to be a sweater knitter or every person that I know is going to have the same scarf / hat set!

Isn't this yarn delicious???? I love love love love it! It is hand painted yarn by Claudia & I bought it at Yarns Ewenique in Fort Worth. My LSSK (lone star state knitters) group went on a yarn crawl last week and we had a ball! I guess for me it was more of a book crawl because this is the only yarn that I bought. I got it with the intention of gifting it to someone, but now I'm really not so sure. I really hate to make gifts out of yarn that I don't like but I'm growing emotionally attached to my beloved yarn & am having a heck of a time parting with it. Sigh. I'll try.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Woolie Ewe Haul

So Friday I get an email from the Woolie Ewe that they are having a 40% off everything sale. From what I've heard not everyone knew about the sale & all I can say this THANK GOODNESS because it was packed in that place!! But late Friday night, my list began. I tried to think of upcoming projects so I wouldn't get too out of control & I would have some focus. You see, some yarn NEVER goes on sale. So now is the time to get it at a discount, I mean, if you are going to buy it anyway!!! The idea of "everything" on sale didn't register for me so lucky for my wallet I didn't include needles or books on my wishlist.

So here is the rundown of what I got and more importantly, it's purpose.
* A bag (10 skeins) of red Cascade 220 to make the Knitty Mariah
* 2 skeins pink / 2 skeins choc brown Cascade 220 to make an unnamed felted bag of some sort
* 2 skeins Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande in Ivory to make a scarf for Patrick's dad for Christmas
* 6 balls of Rowan kidsilk spray to make Aimee (see Projects of Interest)
* 2 skeins of Plymouth Encore in pink / grey varigated to make a scarf & hat for a friend's child for Christmas
* addi Turbo size 7, 24"
* addi Turbo size 8, 24"

And that's all folks!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Curse of the Hand Knitter

I am a self-confessed extreme bargain shopper - therefore my closet runneth over with $10 deals. I have so many clothes that it's seriously not even funny anymore. I had an obvious epiphany recently that since I work from home & don't go anywhere except Walmart, Target, knitting events & shopping that if I had 10 -20 really great pieces of clothes that I was totally in love with that I'd be set for most occassions. Recently we have gone out to eat to places that I didn't feel comfortable in jeans or my ratty capri pants and then there was the panic while trying to figure out what to wear to go see Mamma Mia! Maybe I should have a few pairs of nice pants & a few tops that aren't tshirts, then I'd know have effortless pieces in my closet no matter where I'm asked to go. Which brings me to my point....

Nordstrom is having their anniversary sale so I decided to get something to fit into this new philosophy. Something stylish yet classic that I could throw on and look great but not like I am trying too hard. My criteria was simple - nothing over $100 but nothing "cheap". So in my search I found the prettiest sweater in a great chocolate brown color, put it in my shopping bag online & held my breath as they charged my debit card the $70 some odd dollars. I am a grown up now, I should be wearing something other than a M*A*S*H tshirt & pants that can be long or are convertible to capris from Walmart! I anxiously awaited it's arrival in my mailbox. Flash to this's here! It's so pretty.... what easy construction....Brillant. I COULD MAKE THIS! Is it really worth nearly $80 if I could make it? Should I pay someone else for simple design and construction that I could copy & make myself? It's soft & I love the yarn - get's ACRYLIC! What the hell? I'm completely confused. I know that the yarn I'd buy to make it PLUS the time it would take me to design (copy?) the pattern PLUS the time it would take me to knit it would be WAY more than $80. I just don't know if I could ever be happy with this garment though knowing that I could do it myself but make it even better by customizing it to my body. It could be slimmer through the waist to play up my assets. I'd like it to be just a tad longer.

Will I ever be able to buy a sweater at a store ever again in my whole life? Or a hat or scarf or....dare I say it....socks (gulp)? I guess I could look at the bright side. If I take it back, I have an extra $80 for yarn shopping......

Monday, July 17, 2006

Instant Gratification X 2

Isn't this great? I am in love with this hat & scarf combo. I worked on this scarf & made it about half way through Saturday night at our knitting group & then knitted for a few hours yesterday to finish it up and do the hat. The hat is so super easy - the pattern can be found on the Berroco website, it's called but I didn't use the Softee with it. The scarf is a plain garter stitch knitted on size 50 needles, and only 10 stitches across! Now I remember why I enjoy knitting on huge needles though this is my first time on 50s. I have loved this yarn (Berroco Hip Hop in BeBop shade) since I first layed eyes on it & but it finally decided that it needs to be mine. Well, actually it is my sister's Christmas present, but I did have the good sense to buy enough yarn to make a matching set for myself. I do think I'm going to add about an inch to my hat though. This was so fun & quick that I feel like I've accomplished something. So much for working on my new size 3 needles! (I'd like to thank Priscilla for modeling for me & not giving me any grief about it).

Another great & quick project that I had a ball knitting. This apple dishcloth compliments of on the LoneStar Knitter's list. It really was one of the most fun things that I have made in quite some time. It was quick, just enough of a pattern to keep me interested but not so much that I couldn't watch TV - or drink wine. I will be doing more - these are supposed to be a gift for my mom, we'll see how many I get done!

I love on-the-needles projects that come off-the-needles finished before I even have a chance to blog about them. Sometimes a girl just needs instant gratification!

Friday, July 14, 2006


I really think I have a problem. I have been buying yarn like a maniac! While Patrick was gone here is the yarn I acquired and the accompanying excuse..I mean reason I bought each. Why I feel that I have to justify my purchases is just beyond me. He doesn't care. I have the money. Really, does it matter? But every single time I buy some for no reason I have to attach a reason to it! However, coincidentally I do have a reason for all this.
** 10 balls of Jojoland Melody wool in a fingering weight - top left. My reason for this is so horrible. It was on ebay & I was feeling competitive? Is that wrong? I had been watching their auctions every since a girl on the Lonestar Knitters list that I am on won some great cashmere from them. I loved this colorway & it has the elusive red that I seek for the perfect gift for my sister. Not sure that this is it, but hey, it's as good of a reason as any. And I got all 10 balls - not that I needed anything like 10 balls - for $36.00 total ($65 retail) - so really - how could I not do that? Plus I felt like a real woman when I beat the other winches out of this yarn.
** 7 skeins of Fun Fur or Fancy Fur - top right. Reason? THEY WERE $1!!! I like to knit chemo caps out of this so I seriously couldn't pass it up for $1. It's at the Big Lots at Independence & 15th Street in Plano in case you are close to there & I bought it on July 3rd so they probably still have some. Some of the same colors was marked $2 though so make sure you are getting the cheapest (mismarked??) stuff.
** 2 skeins of Plymouth Encore Chunky is the prettiest pink ever - bottom left. I bought it thinking I'd make another Breast Cancer scarf & it seemed like a chunky enough weight to go pretty quickly, but smooth enough to try cables. Now who knows what it will end up being. Real reason? I went to the Woolie Ewe to buy ANOTHER book - Stitch N Bitch Nation - and truly, who can leave there without yarn?
** 10 skeins of Sugar N Creme cotton though only 9 are pictured - 1 is MIA - bottom right. Reason? THEY WERE $1! And I wanted to try my hand at dish clothes, the real use being for dish clothes for my Mom's new house. I made one (picture to follow) and I'm just not sure they are big enough for her to use for that purpose. The pattern was so entirely fun & it took no time to make though! Back to the yarn. For some reason I couldn't buy just a couple skeins, I had to buy 10, since it was still only $10 worth. Don't ask me why - it's a sickness.
** 2 skeins of Cotton Tots - to make squares for baby blankets for the Lonestar Knitters group.
** 1 skein red Patton's Merino - to make fingerless gloves for my little sis who is going off to college next of course...her new school colors. It's my first stab at cables & they are so fun! Just hard enough to keep it interesting but easy enough to still drink wine while knitting or to watch tv without making too many errors.

I've been knitting At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee & I realize now that if knitters are reading this, they are nodding their heads in agreement. If my family or non-knitting friends are reading, they are probably planning an intervention.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Bored Stiff.

This will probably be boring for ya'll too because I can't post any pictures. Patrick left for Dublin / London on Friday & took our camera with him so I can't take photos for my blog - THE NERVE! What, is the once in a lifetime trip pictures more important than my knitting progress? Ha. Seriously, I'm not excited about one thing I am knitting: Here is what I have OTN:
* Rowan Beth sweater. It's not so much that I am bored with it than that I'm stuck & paralyzed with fear that I'm going to have to frog the whole thing so I haven't progressed at all. I have another private lesson with Alissa on July 10th so I really need to be done with the back by then. I'll try to work on it.
* Pink Left Leaning Decrease lace scarf for donation to the Breast Cancer scarf drive. It is the pattern we were giving in my lace class at Fiber Fest to further understand....any guesses? Left leaning decreases!!!! I do like it but I just can't concentrate on it right now & I have no good excuse.
* Hobby Lobby had Sugar n Cream cotton on sale for 0.99 last week so I went & bought a chunk of it to make new dishclothes for my Mom as a house warming present. I folded clothes for her when I was home in May & I told her she was in NO way to bring those dish cloths / towels into her new house! I think it's just one of those things that we as women pay no attention to & never buy new for ourselves. So I'm working on a dishcloth with an apple motif that was designed by Rainy - a girl on my LoneStar Knitters yahoo list - the design is FANTASTIC. I have never worked with cotton & am not sure how I'm feeling about it. I literally just started it about, oh, 5 rows ago, so I'm still struggling to work with yarn that doesn't have much stretch.

I finished the second pinwheel baby blanket - pictures to follow. I am pretty pleased with it despite the fact that after about an inch of seed stitch border it still curls a little. I really don't think the baby will mind either.

Now to my recent book fetish. I don't know what in the world is wrong with me but in the past 3 weeks or so I have added quite a few knitting books to my library. As if I didn't have enough already (these are in addition to my many magazines). I joined a craft book club ( in case you care) so 5 of these were from that & they were uber cheap. Here is what I have gotten:
* One Skein by Leigh Radford
* Scarf Style - editted by Pam Allen (fav of all these for sure - changed the way I see scarves)
* 200 Knitted Blocks by Jan Eaton - I was deadly curious & figure I'll use this eventually
* At Knit's End - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee - hysterical.
* Modular Knits by Iris Schreier
* Vogue Knitting from Amazon - I LOVE it. I am highly impressed & it's worth the hype. Terrific design section.
* Loop-d-Loop by Teva Durham - for one pattern that I wanted that was $6 but I could buy the book on ebay for $11 shipped. I mean really - no question what you should do. I like several things in there.
* Stitch N Bitch Nation by Debbie Stoller - picked up at The Woolie Ewe yesterday. The BEST discussion on adjusting a pattern for yarn substitions & pattern mod that I've seen yet. I am starting to study now!
Thus my lack of recent knitting. I've been reading about knitting more than I've actually been knitting. I know that sounds wrong, but it's just true.

So that's what I'm up to. I'll post pictures just as soon as I get my camera back & download those...cultural experience / pub crawling pictures from the other side of the pond! BTW - I did think to remind him that yarn makes a great souvenir. I've since searched & though I doubt he'll go seek out a yarn store (since I also picked out some Celtic jewelry) but maybe maybe maybe he'll run across something at a street vendor? Apparently knitting as a hobby has not caught on in Dublin so you actually have to search for yarn, you just don't trip over it as I imagined. I'll let you know!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Knitting A-D-D Rages On

Seriously. My self-diagnosed startistis is over. I am officially on a starting project kick & bouncing about amongst them all. In addition, I am on the search for yet ANOTHER yarn to start something else too because apparently 4 projects OTN just aren't enough. I won't bore you with more pictures of the still unfinished pinwheel baby blanket - I have started a seed stitch border on it and it is taking for-freakin-ever! But it is turning out nicely & I still have time so I'm excited about it. I love that self striping yarn, though it does tend to split. On to other knitting news:

Beginning of my Rowan Beth sweater. I am so excited about this - I took a private lesson with the wonderful - Alissa Barton for pattern modifications. I am loving the idea of custom fitting patterns & being able to play with them & the sizing since I am not a size zero model with the chest size of a 12 year old!

This scarf is a Christmas present for my niece Jordyn - she loves all things gaudy & sparkly & particularly pink (much like her Aunt T) so when I saw this yarn on CLEARANCE I had to get it for her. I started & basically finished this scarf last weekend. Don't pat me on the back for being early on gifts either. My real motivation was that I needed a truly brainless project while visiting and wine drinking at my group last Saturday. The yarn was a ball to work with and I am not binding off until I make a matching hat. If I can manage to make a hat that will actually fit a 7 year old instead of a baby doll, then I'll make the scarf even longer with any left over yarn.

Is it possible to make charity gifts for philanthropic purposes yet be selfish all at the same time? Gosh I hope so. I am a failed hat maker. I have tried several to no avail. My friend started working at a non-profit that facilitates the Meals-On-Wheels program in her area so we started brain storming about giving the participants hand knitted gifts at Christmas time. So this is my first hat attempt - I figure I can practice hats for charity gifts, right? That isn't entirely selfish, is it? I don't want any flack about knitting flat & sewing up the edges either! I need baby steps, people, and my double point needle collection is pretty sparse. If this basic pattern works out I'll see what else I can dig up....

Knit on!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Clapotis down, 1,000,001 projects to go....

I finished my Clapotis yesterday. If that announcement sounds unenthusiastic it's because I'm not even excited about it. Thus my realization of how deep my "process knitter" syndrome goes. I really don't even care that it's done. Or that I have a cool new wrap that, as its characteristics dictate, compounds perfectly into a cozy scarf. It's pretty and I've actually already used it more than any other item I've knitted to date. When I woke up this morning it was about 68 degrees in my house which tells me that SOMEONE was playing with the thermostat...but I I had it on with my tank & pj capris this morning. It's very cozy and I like it but within literally 10 minutes of finishing it I was looking around for the next project.

A few points about my clappy:
* I only had 588 yards of yarn. I started to panic when I read on the knitalong how most people used 800+ yards. Last Monday at Mary's Betty suggesting eliminating a repeat of straight rows so that's what I did. When I was done I had what looks like tons of yarn, but I'm sure I would have come up 10 rows short & I would be hating life - and clappy - so I am extremely happy about it. Thanks for the help :)
* What in the world is up with that oblong edge? (see pix 2) It's supposed to be a RECTANGLE. I don't know if I started knitting tight at the end or what, but it's seriously screwed up. I hadn't intended to block it but I'm going to try it. The yarn is 75% acrylic, 25% wool so I think it will block but I don't claim to be an expert. Especially considering I've never blocked a thing.
* I'll get to those hanging strings, I swear.
* I must have gotten slightly off on the pattern because one of my dropped rows isn't quite right. I have a line of stockinette going through about 1 1/2 inches of dropped row. A muggle wouldn't notice & I had to really search for it after the fact, but I know it's there. I'm sure a seasoned knitter would catch it right away & internally -if they knew what was good for them - say "if she hadn't screwed up that part it would be perfect".
* I committed the knitters sin. The bad one. I knotted my balls together in a few spots. I know I shouldn't I KNOW it's going to come back to haunt me, but THERE! I said it. I won't even promise not to whine about it when the whole damn thing comes unravelled.

That's it. The end of my Clapotis saga. The winner of the new project search was the second pinwheel baby blanket for my boss's baby. He isn't due until September so I figured I could pick it up / put it down for a few months in between stuff for me. I forgot what a PAIN IN THE ASS the start of that blanket is, but I'm past it. I really like the self-striping yarn is coming out. I've used varigated but not self-striping so it's kind of fun!

Now what's next....

Saturday, May 27, 2006


One good thing about being stuck in the airport - I had time to knit. I did lots of knitting on my recent trip home. I knitted while visiting with my Grandma, well, everyone really. Then on the flight home I was delayed a few hours so I had even more knitting time. So lots of Clapotis progress. I have to say, I am on the straight rows & am about to poke my eyeballs out. I am bored bored bored with it. Well, all of it except the dropped stitches - that is cool!

I've decided to start the Rowan Beth sweater - link under Projects of Interest - in my Berrocco Vibe yarn. I figure that I need several projects to keep me from being bored. I had startitis, now I'm having issues finishing what I started.

I also bought yarn. Big shocker. In my defense it was cheap yarn. Isn't that always the defense? The Bernat yarn is for yet another pinwheel baby blanket. My boss' wife is preggers & they found out this week that it's a boy, so I have until September to get this one done. Maybe it will be bigger than a stroller blanket & I will know how to crochet a cool border on it by then. I really like the yarn colors but damn all these boys! I want to knit a cutie pink girly blanket. Flash to the pink girl yarn. Walmart had it on ridiculous clearance & my niece Jordyn would totally dig it, so I figured that I'd make her a scarf & a hat for the fall. That's the excuse...I mean plan....anyway.

That's all for now!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Happy Clappy!

Here is the beginning of my Clapotis. (to view what it will look like when I'm done you can click the link under "projects of interest). I figured I had to have a reason that I bought this yarn & it came to me last week - it needs to be my clappy! As a fellow knitter points out, this project surely sounds like an STD but instead it is a pretty shawl / wrap. It was a bear to start (I frogged it probably 15 times? no lie) but now that I've got a handle on the pattern it's fun to knit. I get to bring it with me when I travel on Thursday!

Well, this is the scarf that I made with the Marble yarn that I purchased at the DFW Fiber Fest. I was obsessed with a basket weave pattern & had to knit one for some reason - I have no clue as to why! I bought this yarn specifically for Patrick's mom because she loves fall colors & wears them often. I figured I'd get a jump on her September birthday & be done. Well...I've heard knitters say that yarn didn't want to be what they had planned & I thought it sounded insane. Now I get it. After knitting about 5 inches of this scarf I told Patrick "this is a boy scarf, not a mom scarf". Period. It's a boy scarf! It looks manly & I really really love it, but it's not hers. I'm not sure who the owner will be, but I'm thinking I can make a hat and put a few more inches length with the additional yarn that I have & poof - it becomes a Christmas gift. Now I just have to figure out which of the men in my life would actually USE a scarf / hat combo! I do have to say that this yarn is great - so easy to work with and for acrylic it is surprisingly soft. I awful glad since I have a huge pile of it to make a sweater for myself.

That's it for now. I'm leaving tomorrow to go see my little sister graduate from high school. It's so hard to believe that she is 18 & going off to college. But I'll be happy to get to see everyone. LATER!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Random Pictures & Musings

I finished the Pinwheel Baby Blanket. It was fun and I think I'll make it my new baby gift. Hopefully by next time I'll know how to make a pretty crochet edge, not just a single stitch one - that in all honesty Tatiana did for me! Plus next time I think I'll make it bigger and maybe make the border with a different color yarn. All in all a fun & mostly mindless project.

My attempt at intarsia from the conference. In case you can't tell it's the bottom half of a heart. I took the class Sunday morning and to be honest I don't think it's for me. I'm glad that I know how to do it, the class was good, the teacher was great, I just don't think I have the patience for it. As a matter of fact I told a friend that I put it in the same hate category as socks...but I think that is a bit harsh! Maybe one day I will change my mind and make something with a picture on it, but in the meantime, no go for me.

Next Wednesday at the Plano meetup group we are starting the Vegas scarf. It's basically a game where dice determine what yarn you use & you flip a coin to determine if you knit or purl. It sounds like tons of fun & this is the yarn I'm bringing with me. You use 6 different yarns but as you can see I have way more than that! Shocker, I know. I'll decide how I feel about it when I get there. Stay tuned!

Yarn that I bought at the conference. I am loving this Marble by James C. Brett. It is 100% acrylic but I swear it feels like a soft wool. And CHEAP! It also says it's DK weight but I think it's working up like worsted. I bought tons of that first color (MT6) to make a sweater for myself. I figure worst case I can make another baby blanket out of it! Yarn #2 is Erdal Lazer - also inexpensive wool/acrylic blend. I have no idea what I'm going to make with it but I have about 600 yards of it. The second Marble color is what I'm working on right now but it is going to be a gift so that's all I can say about it. Other than that it is working up really pretty & I do like working with it!

This picture represents the abandonment of my yarn deal with myself. I told myself that I wouldn't buy any more yarn unless I had a specific project in mind for it. Well, evidence to the contrary between this yarn & the yarn above. In my defense, that Moda Dea Ticker Tape (right) is usually like $9 a skein & I got it for $2.40 - same with the Wild (left) although it's not usually that much more expensive. But really - how could I pass that up? But I seriously don't know what I'm making with either. In the back of my mind I thought the Wild might work on my Vegas scarf but now I have no idea why I thought that because it obviously won't work!

This is my new favorite thing ever. I went into the Woolie Ewe one day & saw that Rowan has a yarn that is very close to the Vibe that I have to make the sweater that I'm now frogging. I figured I could use it for a Rowan pattern that uses the similar yarn (Ribbon Twist). I have a friend on a board that I frequent that also knits. I emailed her to be on the lookout for cute sweater patterns in her Rowan books that I might like - she sent me her book! Can you believe it? It's like the sweetest thing I ever heard and the sweaters in this book are to die for - there are at least 3 that I'd like to try over time! So great. So thanks so much Christin!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Yes, DYEING, not dying. I looked up the spelling to make sure I didn't confuse anyone. I figured I'm going to break this conference & my experiences there by project because if not I'll be a babbling idiot and the whole entry would be one long run-on sentence (much like this one)!

I took a food dyeing with food grade dyes class- which in this case included Kool-Aid & easter egg dye. DUDE! It rocked. We only had 4 people in the class so we really got to experiment and enjoy our time there. The pictures above are all of my process, but I put the results from other students below because it was all so gorgeous - much more so than mine for sure!

Here is the short version of the pictures above: #1, laid out the yarn like king cakes & painted it with mixed easter egg dye - I still can't believe I didn't get a picture after is was completely painted #2, I wrapped it in saran wrap completely sealed & put in in the microwave for 8 minutes in 2 minute intervals #3, after rinsing hung to dry #4, balled up #5, finish product knitting in a swatch.

That's it folks. It was so easy & so much fun. I wish I had a better lay out in my kitchen but I'm already plotting more dyeing. I used a very small sample because I had really put my yarn in huge hanks but they were pretty close together & I thought would be hard to dye.

I wasn't as impressed with the Kool Aid outcome but I think it's because I did a single color & I really like the varigated look so much better. I dyed with Black Cherry first, then I tied off about one inch sections & redyed in Ice Blue Raspberry
Lemonade & got this:

Here are results from other students in my class: